“But what angers me about it is the Episcopal Appeasement, spelled out in bold that lets North Asheville make millions off intimidation, along with Biltmore Forest and Montreat, while ‘East and West’ do their part, so I really don’t see why the city or county tolerate these gentrified, shirking bullies.”
“We think it is a sad commentary about those promoting and organizing this annual event that they cannot see that the groups in Only One Earth Coalition are a vital part of our Asheville community and deserve to be celebrated and raised up, not excluded.”
Asheville on Bikes has recently drawn attention for its successful advocacy at City Hall, but it’s just one of many community organizations that seek to pull the levers of political power in Asheville. Xpress spoke to several of these groups to learn more about how they pursue their agendas.
Listed on Council’s agenda for Tuesday, March 22, is a presentation about Asheville’s “community cleanliness strategy.” The discussion comes two weeks after the Asheville Downtown Association released its annual survey, in which respondents gave the city’s core a 2.2 out of 5 in terms of cleanliness.
Safety and reducing criminal activity downtown closely followed homelessness among the top concerns. Survey respondents were asked to evaluate downtown in terms of how safe they felt. The average score was 3.5 out of 5 for perceived safety during the daytime, dropping to 1.9 out of 5 at night.
Outside of COVID-19, the top three business issues reported in the latest Asheville Downtown Association survey remain virtually identical to those of previous years: downtown cleanliness, safety and parking for both visitors and employees.
There is no fee for business owners interested in signing up, says Franzi Charen, founder of Asheville Grown Business Alliance, which produces the card each year. The only requirement is that locally owned, independent shops honor the card with hand-selected special offers.
Slated to open on Saturday, Sept. 1., the lot will offer 100 new spaces with 24/7 access at $70 per month. Dana Frankel, downtown development specialist with the city, notes that there is currently interest in over 80 of the 100 available spaces.
Friday, May 18, the 30th annual Downtown After 5 concert series launches with an especially localcentric show: Asheville All-Stars, a super-group comprised of a rotating cast of Asheville’s favorite singers and musicians.
At the Asheville Downtown Association’s annual State of Downtown luncheon, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer and Buncombe County Commission Chair Brownie Newman touted lists of major public projects and initiatives that benefit downtown. Meanwhile, urban planning consultant Joe Minicozzi argued that tax revenue data show more municipal investment in downtown is both warranted and needed.